From the day its cornerstone was laid through the present, the Tennessee State Capitol has been the site of some of the Volunteer State’s most momentous historical events. Now the Capitol’s story has been captured on a video documentary that will soon be appearing in classrooms throughout Sullivan County.
At a news conference Friday, Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Representative Timothy Hill, Representative Jon Lundberg, Representative Tony Shipley, Sullivan County Director of Schools Jubal Yennie and other state and local officials announced that DVDs of the documentary will be distributed to every public school in Sullivan County.
The General Assembly requested that the Secretary of State’s Office produce the documentary. It premiered in an event at the Nashville Public Library earlier this year. Copies of the DVD are being distributed to school districts in all 95 of Tennessee’s counties.
“This documentary is an invaluable resource for teachers, students and all Tennesseans to learn about their historic State Capitol,” Lieutenant Governor Ramsey said. “The Department of State and the State Library and Archives have done an excellent job capturing the majesty of the building and the unique history of the structure. I’m proud to help distribute this excellent documentary not only here in my district, but across the great state of Tennessee.”
“The study of history is extremely important for our students,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “And the Tennessee State Capitol is arguably the most historic building in our state. To better understand the state in which they live, students need to learn about the Capitol building. I am pleased that the General Assembly provided us with the funding we needed to produce this documentary and provide copies for use in classrooms around the state.”
The documentary covers the building’s history from the time the original cornerstone was laid in 1845 through the present day.
It covers serious events - including the Union Army’s occupation of the Capitol - and whimsical ones - like the time a car drove through the building’s lobby as a publicity stunt.
The documentary can be viewed online from the Secretary of State’s web site at www.capitol.tnsos.net. There are plans to add other online resources to the site, including a virtual tour of the Capitol, as well as features and fun stories about the building’s history.